BEVERLY, Mass. – Playing in their second NCAA Division III Tournament game in program history as the automatic qualifier out of the New England Football Conference (NEFC), the Endicott football team matched up against a hard-running Rowan Profs squad out of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and lost 24-0 to end their season. The Gulls saw their 2013 campaign come to a close with an 8-3 overall record after posting an undefeated mark in league play and winning the NEFC Championship for the second time in four seasons.
The Gulls were forced to stop a powerful run-heavy Profs offense that accumulated 346 yards the ground including 223 from sophomore Withier Marcelin (Ocean Twp., N.J.) and another 120 from freshman Khalil Pierce (Neptune, N.J.) who both found the end zone on long touchdown runs. Marcelin gave Rowan a 14-0 lead late in the first half on a 37-yard touchdown while Pierce put the game away with just seconds remaining in the third quarter on a 63-yard dash to cap off at the scoring at 24-0.
The Profs showcased a strong defense as well, holding Endicott to just 113 yards of total offense while intercepting Endicott quarterback Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) three times including a 46-yard pick-six by sophomore linebacker Darren Dungee (Morristown, N.J.) with 4:25 remaining in the first half to open the scoring at 7-0.
Frenette, the NEFC's Offensive Player of the Year, struggled with 13 completions on 31 attempts for 84 yards and First Team running back, sophomore Spencer Walsh (Malden, Mass.), couldn't get anything going in the run game with 42 yards on 16 attempts. Endicott First Team wide receiverAlec Matys (Woburn, Mass.) led the Blue and Green with four receptions for 26 yards.
The Endicott defense, forced to be on the field for 42 game minutes, did their best to contain Rowan in the early going as the Gulls held the Profs to 82 yards of offense in the first quarter. Rowan held a 7-0 lead after one quarter, on Dungee's interception return, but Endicott was able to kee the Profs in check with a punt, an interception by Gulls senior Andrew Lawson (Framingham, Mass.), and a turnover on downs.
On their second possession of the game, Rowan drove deep into Endicott territory, down to the six-yard-line, and on 3rd-and-goal a Bill McCarty (Williamstown, N.J.) pass was picked off by Lawson to keep the Profs out of the end zone. After the Dungee interception return, Rowan found themselves in Endicott territory once again early in the second quarter but turned the ball over on fourth down as McCarty's pass was dropped on 4th-and-4 on the Gulls 22.
Later in the second quarter, however, Rowan got their offense going with a 10-play, 84-yard drive that ended in Marcelin's 37-yard touchdown run. Rowan would add a 35-yard field goal by Dan Dawson (Voorhees, N.J.) and another rushing touchdown by Pierce to put the game away.
Endicott's defense was led by senior First Team defensive back Jason Silva (Palatine, Ill.) who tied his career-high with 18 tackles, eight which were solo, and another 14 from sophomore linebacker Marjan Solomon (Waltham, Mass.). Senior nose guard Marcell Cooper (Dorchester, Mass.), senior linebacker Nick Kozlowski (Beverly, Mass.), and senior defensive end Kevin Pressey (Fairfield, Maine) ended their Endicott careers with nine, eight, and seven tackles, respectively. Junior linebacker Eric Dwinell (Amherst, N.H.) finished with eight tackles, six solo, to mark a career-high.
Freshman Kyle Regan (Nashua, N.H.) was tasked with the punting duties in this game, booting 10 punts for an average of 38.8 yards with four falling inside the opposition's 20-yard line. His long for the game was 53 yards.
Rowan (9-2) moves on to face Mary Hardin-Baylor, a 35-7 winner over Redlands in their First Round match up. That game will be played on November 30th.